Sharing our opportunity and POSITIVE approach to business.
The Direct Sales industry is as diverse as the United States of America. Our product offerings range from nutritionals, to energy, to financial services and beyond. While our products are diverse, we share the fact that we are in the “people development” business.
We are at an amazing moment for our industry! Our products and services are needed now more than ever. Our method of product delivery is perfect for today’s world. Technology has developed in a way that allows us to reach and build more customers and distributors. Our business model is nimble and agile.
These crazy times are a “perfect storm” of opportunity for our industry. We have an obligation to share our opportunity and POSITIVE approach to business.
Now, more than any other moment in my lifetime, we need more forces for good. We need agents for positive change. I can think of no better example, no better school, no better course in intentional thinking and driving action than Direct Sales. Our reach is massive! In 2019, the DSA reported 6.8M full and part-time direct sales professionals with 36.9M customers. That is an impressive base and a nice springboard for messages to inspire hope for the future across the world.
Now, more than ever, people need something to be excited about and hopeful for. It is important to know that people are actively seeking meaningful ways to invest their time and energy. Since March, when the engine of the world slowed to a crawl due to the coronavirus, enrollment in online courses surged. Coursera—an online platform that offers massive open online classes saw a 640 percent increase in enrollment from mid-March to mid-April 2020 than from the same period in 2019. Similar platforms have experienced comparable growth.
Be it for a pleasant distraction or a zest for learning; millions of people are looking for knowledge, inspiration, possibility, potential, and wisdom. We have that at our fingertips. Even better, we all have proven training systems and leadership teams that have, time and time again, built confidence where there was little or none. These teams and systems have infused hope in the hopeless. The success stories are innumerable, and they are profound.
Direct Sales, more than any other type of business, is a vehicle to make people feel good. That is now our critical mission: to be a beacon of hope and a unifier of people. As direct sales professionals, we know how to be fishers of men and women. I know you don’t need a lesson in that, but I do want to stress how desperately the masses need you and your unique ability to encourage and influence! People need to be uplifted! They need promise and inspiration to light fire to their dreams and drown out their fears.
We are all aware of the merry-go-round of misery that is the 24-hour news cycle. It feels as though news outlets are in a competition to win an Emmy award for negativity and despair. Were that an actual category, I don’t know how a winner could possibly be chosen.
In the midst of the negativity and misinformation, we can be a light. We should be a light. Beyond the impetus to increase revenue, and expand business into new areas, lies the ultimate goal: to love our neighbors as ourselves. We all have systems of communication and connectivity that can combat the incessant stream of distressing news. We can’t change reality, but we’ve seen how perspective, renewed energy and focus do reshape a person’s world.
In direct sales, we have witnessed the despondent absorb the lessons we teach to embolden our teams to thrive, and we’ve watched them soar to new personal and financial heights. It’s inspiring to the leadership of any company, and it is, frankly, often the motivating factor that drives innovation at the top. One of the greatest things we do is to transfer confidence to unconfident people.
When I first joined the team at A.L. Williams, I loved to listen to Art speak. I learned so much from him, and I am indebted to him for his knowledge, his energy, and his belief in something greater than us all. He would often speak passionately about the difference between our company and a typical insurance agency. “Our competition sells policies. We sell hope and opportunity,” he would state during our team meetings.
I believe with all my heart that the success Primerica enjoys today stems directly from Art’s emphatic belief in the power of our ability to change lives. That belief changed my life and, subsequently, the lives of countless others. This belief and passion are the heartbeat of our industry. I cannot think of a better time than now to use those powers for the good of our fellow citizens.
As our businesses grow and evolve, our excitement amplifies, and we see the growth as a catalyst to touch more lives. We believe in empowering people, unlocking their talents, reminding them of their goals, and emboldening them to shoot for the stars. Usually, we see potential in people, and we hope to recruit them for our team. We admire that they are detail-oriented, or a great public speaker, or maybe great with numbers, and we are drawn to them because we see how the tools and the shift in mindset have helped us (and others). Right now, those tools—and that training that shifted your mindset—have a greater purpose.
We are all called to put our knowledge, passion, and energy to use for the good of everyone we can touch. It might grow your business—it likely will. Today, in this crazy world, we are all navigating, we must be dealers in kindness and good!
Prior to living through a pandemic, twin hurricanes, civil unrest, murder hornets, and a volatile political climate, our industry has been a viable stepping stone for folks struggling to make ends meet. While technology has disrupted a lot of industries, it has enhanced ours in unprecedented ways. As the world disconnects personally and reconnects digitally, our industry has adapted and grown. It is interesting too. Just as Google and Facebook reviews make or break businesses with the influx of or lack of stars, we benefit from the recommendatory nature of direct sales products and services. Third-party endorsements are more important than ever.
I believe that our ability to help people grow as individuals, to understand their talents, and see their worth is a large part of our collective success. In direct sales, we provide people with both a contingency plan and a source of optimism. We are more equipped than any other group that I am aware of to cultivate leadership. Leadership is the world’s scarcest commodity.
My charge for you is to craft beautiful, uplifting, powerful messages of hope, inspiration, and love and spread them far and wide.
If, in this moment of division, hate, and misinformation, we can unite people and help them turn their fear into the fuel that drives their success, this industry will have made an indelible mark on the future.
I’ll see you at the top because the bottom sure is crowded!
John Addison author of Real Leadership: 9 Simple Practices for Leading and Living with Purpose and Living with Purpose, Leadership Editor for SUCCESS magazine, and President and CEO of Addison Leadership Group, engages and inspires audiences with his relatable messages.